Dec. 14, 2014, Meeting #2
When referring to the media, we should ask ourselves certain things. There are 5 key questions that can help our understanding of what is important to focus on in the media, whether it be interpretation, reliability, or the point of view of the news and messages we are shown day after day. These questions can be extremely valuable to a civilian as they help us become aware of the sources of the reports, ads, editorials, etc. so that we can decide if they are reliable. Then we can decide if we agree with these messages and how to respond to them.
Here are the 5 questions we learned about and discussed at our last meeting:
- Who created this message?
- What creative techniques are used to attract my attention?
- How might different people understand this message differently from me?
- What lifestyles, values, and points of view are represented in, or ommited from this message?
- Why is the message being sent?
Each of these questions are connected and reflect off of a general observation.
The first question goes over WHO created the message, stating that media and news sources require people, each with their own interests and viewpoints, to work together to create what one reads or watches.
The second question deals with what the media do with their respective messages to attract and recieve one's attention. There are a variety of techniques, such as artistic genres and wording to draw people in.
The third explains the major differences in what people look for and absorb from general media based off of their personal preferences, knowledge, and lifestyles.
The fourth states that there are certain "values" in any and all media, explaining the different attititudes, viewpoints, and cultural representations in TV shows, movies, advertisements, and even the news.
The fifth and final question asks WHY people send these messages in the first place, and explains what benefits are involved for advertisers and the media sources from the consumers.
All questions work to help the consumer understand what each form of media thrives off of. The answers to these questions can help our awareness of how different sources stay in business by representing, interpreting, and associating means that appeal to a certain audience. Even news shows and publications develop their own formats and personalities to cultivate loyal audiences and readers, thus establishing a particular identity in the sea of the industry.
Pondering these questions allows one to keep an open mind and deduct whether or not a form of media is as reliable or valuable as originally thought and to avoid falling victim to the amount of control and susceptibility the media presents each day. Questions we as citizens and consumers ask of our political leaders, news sources, and businesses can be an extremely important tool to our intelligent awareness and discussion of everyday matters.